Only one in ten manufacturing companies have used high performance manufacturing technologies (17%), sustainable manufacturing technologies (16%) and IT enabled intelligent manufacturing technologies (11%). Most manufacturing companies have not used any of these technologies (66%) and have no plans to do so in the next 12 months, all according to the last European Innobarometer.
The industry has been using VR and AR for a long time: equipped with AR tools, engineers are able to detect flaws and prevent disastrous outcomes. It took a while, but other sectors are finally catching up and using AR to their advantage as well. Proof of it is ARSOFT’s gathered interest from companies such as Navantia (naval & defence), Sonovision (aerospace) or Renault Nissan Consulting (automotive).
However, when it comes to Virtual Reality, simulations become very specific and expensive to create, they need to be designed by specialist companies that few can afford for training purposes. Companies cannot autonomously manage their own XR information and content. This is exactly what EyeFlow changes!
Digital Twins (DT) are also growing in acceptance in manufacturing plants as they provide a digital copy of the factory, analysing all manufacturing data, that becomes available for AI models that can forecast, alert and prevent all sorts of situations. There are more than 90 DT vendors in the market, but they all face the same challenges that have become the opportunities underpinning this project (IoT analytics Market Insights):
Complexity of digital twin data aggregation & cleansing means a lot of work is involved to get correlated data before it can be used consistently.
No homogeneous way of digital twins performing automated pre-defined actions at scale. Many industry experts believe the real innovation in the coming years will come from the “middle layer” of the digital twin data model to provide more automated, pre-defined actions.
Lack of standardization. Many existing digital twin offerings are hardware specific and do not play well with digital twins from other. A major challenge facing architects who are designing and building cyber-physical systems in Industrial IoT, is the interchange of data between the mechanical, digital and human components of an industrial process. Successful interoperability will come not from waiting for all the ecosystem participants to agree on a set of standards, but by providing adapters that facilitate data exchange between different system.
Digital Twins are strongly data oriented; platforms focus on making the best use of the data and forget the workers. Workers that can create a difference by knowing sensors information and alerts on the processes they operate cannot harness the value of these data streams. On top of this, is one of the often-forgotten roles in production, the shop floor expert: the majority of the world’s workforce (in industries such as manufacturing) are “deskless” workers who have been “forgotten and overlooked by technology providers”. Emergent Capital estimates that some 2.7 billion workers worldwide fall into this category and that all of the industries which make up the category are looking to increase spending on technology to empower those workers to increase productivity. This is where our solution will make a difference.
ARSOFT’s EyeFlow is a platform to empower technical experts to make an efficient use of their own information. This integral and transversal learning and support platform aims at harnessing the power of data delivering the right information at the right time to create a true revolution in the way enterprises work. It allows creating AR manuals, VR simulation training environments and Digital Twin Front Ends. It also enables collaborative remote assistance.
We have included a new module to integrate IoT (industrial IoT) data from multiple Digital Twins of different companies: an API has been designed so that any company with a Digital Twin can connect EyeFlow with their IIoT data, it does not matter what Digital Twin platform they use. It allows companies connecting with information from digital twins, delivering predictions, possible alerts and risks before they take place. Our customers will even be able to connect to industrial plant’s machines to control them remotely from an AR or VR environment created by them (which makes us unique). This will allow unleashing all the potential of the DT to view and access the information by all workers, and to act on the data it provides.
One of the use cases that we envisage could be (this use case is extended to multiple DTs thanks to EyeFlow):
1. A maintenance manager of an industrial company creates with EyeFlow Builder, from his computer, an IoT viewer, indicating that when recognizing a specific machine (QR code, image or detection of plans), the temperature must be displayed on said machine of the same, the operating history, consumption data …
2. The manager publishes the content.
3. Workers point their devices at the machine and view the data in real time (including a marker or showing data on the machine). This visualization is carried out with EyeFlow Player in its Augmented Reality version.
Moreover, beyond data visualization, companies will be able to import a 3D environment, such as a specific machine or an entire industrial plant and add interaction buttons on a machine. By publishing the content, workers will be able to access that environment with VR glasses and remotely manipulate the machines by pressing the buttons that have been included with EyeFlow Builder. A use case could be the following (this use case will be implemented thanks to XR4All collaboration):
1. A manager creates new content and imports the 3D model of an industrial plant (with EyeFlow Builder).
2. The manager associates interaction buttons with each machine, representing the actions that can be carried out in the machine’s PLC. You can also add displays (graphs or real-time data) of different machine parameters.
3. The manager publishes the content.
4. The person in charge can enter the plant with Virtual Reality glasses, view historic and real time data and turn them off, on, reduce the power or any other action that has been included when creating the content in the EyeFlow Builder. This visualization is carried out with EyeFlow Player in its Virtual Reality version, while an Augmented Reality version is also included.
In this version uploaded to XR4ALL ARSOFT provides its EyeFlow platform to create and manage content (VR simulators and AR manuals also), and develops all the interactions needed to visualize data from the Digital Twin, and empower workers to act (physically or remotely) on the provided information. This version has limited functionalities and each company that wants to use it will have to contact ARSOFT team to enable an account for a 3 weeks testing period if the company meets the requirements. Campanies can contact demo@arsoft-company to get the password for the download link and credentials to access the platform.